Peanut Butter Woes

I learned something very important recently.

So important that I am dedicating an entire blog post to it.

You might want to sit down.

Are you ready? Here it is –

You can’t bake with all-natural peanut butter.

It’s shocking – I know. But true.

So how did I learn this? The hard way, of course.

In our effort to eat in a little healthier – we purchased a tub of all-natural peanut butter. This is the good stuff.  The only ingredients are peanuts and salt.

It was so natural that the oil separated from the butter. It took Jan an entire evening with the end of my electric mixer attached to his cordless drill to mix it up again.

Dagmar – our peanut butter expert loved the taste!

But to be honest – the rest of us missed the sugar. It tasted so – well – peanutty.

Then we started baking with it.

You wouldn’t believe the disasters.

I guess all the hydrogenated vegetable shortening in regular peanut butter is important to the baking process.

The sugar helps, too.

Now you know.

You’re welcome.

It Sure Tastes Sweet

I wish you could smell my house right now!

Sugar Cookies
Row after row of cookies are cooling on the table – sugar cookies, monster cookies and giant gingersnaps.
Ginger snapsAnd then there’s the muffins! Dozens of them – all waiting to be packaged and delivered.

Why the baking frenzy?

Dagmar got a huge order for baked goods that need to be delivered to an open house tomorrow.
MuffinsShe decided on her recipes, figured out what she needed for ingredients, did the shopping herself and spent all day in the kitchen.

And everything looks and smells wonderful!

What was my role in this venture? Mentor, quality control, chief taste tester and proud momma.

I never saw this coming years ago when she was sitting on the counter beside me licking the spatula!

It sure tastes sweet.

Make Ahead Butterhorns

Croissant Rolls My family got together for an early Thanksgiving meal last weekend – and like all of our family meals – we divided and conquered.

Mom did the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, one sister brought stuffing and corn, another brought desserts, another made sweet potato casserole – and I brought the buns.

Dagmar and I wanted to try something different – and since we were meeting for the first time at my youngest sister’s new house  with 2 ovens – we made these fabulous Make Ahead Butterhorns.

We really loved the fact that we could make them up ahead of time – but not bake them. Instead we froze them and baked them fresh that morning at my sister’s.

Fresh hot rolls! Oh my.

I will have to admit that these are just about the best rolls I have ever eaten in my lifetime.

I take no credit for their wonderfulness – I got the recipe from Crystal Paine over at Money Saving Mom.  She has the recipe and a step-by-step pictorial that was very helpful.

Make-Ahead Butterhorns (makes 32 rolls)
Recipe from Crystal Paine

2 Tablespoons dry yeast, heaping
1/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
9 cups flour, divided (you can use any mixture of white or whole-wheat flour you’d like)
2 cups warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
3-4 Tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add 4 cups flour, milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Beat 2 minutes or until smooth.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured board and knead lightly. (Or, knead in mixer until sides of bowl are clean, then knead two more minutes.)

Place in a greased bowl, turning dough once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1-3 hours).

Punch dough down and divide into four equal parts. Roll each part into a 12-inch circle and brush with melted butter.

Cut each circle into pie- shaped wedges.  (We actually cut them into 12 and thought the rolls were huge!)

Roll up each wedge for wide edge to tip of dough and pinch to seal. Place rolls, top down, on baking sheets and freeze. When frozen, place in freezer bags and keep frozen until needed.

To bake: Take out as many frozen rolls as you’ll need and place them on a greased baking sheet. Thaw for five hours or until doubled in size. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned (about 8-10 minutes). Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Remove and serve immediately or cool on wire racks.

I would recommend baking extra – or be prepared to slap some hands – cause when these babies come hot out of the oven they are irresistible!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum.

First Ever Farmer’s Market

Farmer\'s MarketI was a pretty proud Mama yesterday as I helped my 13 year old daughter prepare for her first table at a Farmer’s Market.

This is a dream come true for Dagmar. She enjoys baking and would love to get paid for it. When she saw the notice in the paper that a Farmer’s Market was being organized, she was thrilled!

This is the first time our small community has had an organized Farmer’s Market in the ten years we’ve been here, so we really didn’t know what to expect.

Dagmar baked for 2 days to get prepared. We weren’t sure how to organize the baking since we only have one oven, but it went surprising well. Everything was baked by noon and had time to cool before we packaged it up. (I will say that other than taking the rolls off of a tray or two, she did all of the baking herself.)

She named her business “Farm Girl’s Kitchen” and made little tags on the computer to label her items. She also made up business cards so if people wanted to order, they could contact her.

The Market it self went very well. There were steady crowds fall evening and just a few other vendors. Her table was nicely put together and looked neat. The food looked fresh (because it was!) and she even gave out free samples. It worked! She sold out quickly on cinnamon rolls, gingersnaps, and peanut butter cookies.

Actually she didn’t have much of anything left to bring home!

We were both pretty tired last night, but excited to bake again for next week!